To Mediate Or Not To Mediate…That Is The Question

When a marriage or civil union has , a common question we are asked is whether the parties should go through mediation to reach a resolution prior to filing a complaint. Mediation is a process where the parties agree to submit their dispute to a neutral third party who tries to help the parties bridge their positions and reach an amicable resolution. Mediators, in the context, are typically family law attorneys, accountants or mental health professionals.

In New Jersey , all parties are required to submit to both and economic mediation as a part of the divorce process. Custody mediation occurs at the courthouse with a court mediator; attorneys are not involved in that process. Economic mediation occurs if the parties have not settled their economic issues after appearing at the Early Settlement Panel and is done outside the courthouse, typically with attorneys present. However, these two mediation events occur only after a complaint for divorce or dissolution of a civil union is filed.

What options are available prior to filing a complaint? Many believe mediation is a good option. However, it is not the best option for many people. Typically, people try mediation before meeting with an attorney. This can create power issues with the higher earning spouse trying to convince their spouse to accept a settlement less favorable than they are entitled to. Depending on the mediator, this may result in the lower earning spouse agreeing to something that is inappropriate under the circumstances. In addition, there is usually no financial disclosure and, therefore, people are being asked to reach an agreement without knowing all of the facts.

We recommend meeting with an attorney before you engage in any pre-complaint settlement discussions, whether it be mediation or direct negotiation. The source of many post-judgment disputes are people who entered into agreements, through mediation or otherwise, without sufficient legal counsel.

are committed to resolving disputes prior to a complaint being filed. , including mediation.

Christina Previte

Christina Previte

Christina Previte, an accomplished divorce lawyer, has focused exclusively on divorce and family law since 2004. As a co-founder of Netsquire, she addresses a significant gap in the divorce industry. Christina provides couples with options for a more peaceful divorce. With degrees from Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School (Camden), including a judicial law clerk role, Christina’s experience is undeniable.

Her recognition on the Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and Super Lawyer lists reflects her commitment to transformative divorce practices. Through Netsquire, Christina streamlines divorce into three crucial steps: resolving legal matters, securing a signed settlement agreement, and navigating court filings. With a client-centric approach, Christina reshapes the divorce journey, guiding families toward smoother transitions and brighter beginnings.

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